Eala a Future Take
Looking at Eala’s books, I’m amazed that after all these years we’ve maintained in the black. A few years ago we added on to the pub to expand the stage and seating, and our staff has tripled since I first opened the doors.
“Mom!” Emily stomps into my office with her twin brothers at her heels.
I raise my brow at my fifteen-year-old daughter. She’s grown into an amazing young woman. Her dark hair currently has purple streaks throughout. Her blue eyes remind me of where she came from, but that’s not who she is.
The twins are very much their father with copper hair and green eyes. And they are never up to any good. They can set traps like I have never seen before at ten years old. They also enjoy playing pranks on family and friends.
“They keep taking my knives and hiding them. I need them for our vacation this weekend.”
Turning to Charlie and Masen, I wait without saying a word, simply watching as they shift their feet, unable to maintain eye contact with me.
It doesn’t take long before they cave under my stare. “They’re in our tree house under the floorboards,” Charlie confesses first.
I tap my fingers on my desk. “How many times have I told you not to mess with Emily’s things?”
Masen, ever the smart-ass, says, “If we are counting this time, Ma, it will be thirty-seven times.” He gives me his cheeky grin that shows off his dimples.
“If I have to tell you again, you can go stay with Uncle Jasper and Aunt Maria.”
Their faces drain of color with that threat.
Jasper and Maria are a great couple, and she is very understanding of the Family, but she does not believe in how I choose to raise my children. She thinks I have stolen their childhood by raising them the way I was raised, which is to begin their training once they turn five. They’ve already learned how to shoot and they all know self-defense moves.
Maria is the only one with that line of thinking. Everyone else has their children doing the same thing. They come over every weekend and do training with us, and they even take the yearly trips to Forks and train there with us.
After the twins were born I decided to fix up the house and make it just as my dad had it. There are trails through the woods, gun ranges, and obstacle courses. The only thing still hidden is the cabin, only known to Edward and me.
Charlie quickly turns to Emily and hugs her. “I’m sorry, Em, I won’t touch your things ever again.”
Mason follows suit, hugging his sister for forgiveness.
“Better not, or I’m going to tie you to a tree in the middle of the woods and leave you for the wild animals.” She pushes them away and walks back out of my office with the boys on her heels, passing my dathúil. Our youngest child hangs on his back.
Our little Ciara is now six, with her daddy’s copper hair but my brown eyes. She is something else. Even though she understands about guns and some kid self-defense moves, she doesn’t care for it. She wants to cook and dance.
“Gra, it's time. Ma and Da are here for the kids.”
I nod, closing my books and putting them in the safe.
“Still not having Benjamin manage those?” he says with caution in his voice.
I ignore him because he should know the answer. That man is lucky to be breathing after his betrayal. It was a year after Izzy was born that Angela was pregnant again, but at twenty weeks she lost the baby and went into a depression that I wasn’t sure she would make it through. Two years ago, I spotted him in one of the strip clubs we own, one of our more promiscuous places. Suit-man was cheating on my best friend, my sister.
Edward had to pull me off of him. I plotted his death.
This was the one fight where we almost didn’t make it because Edward didn’t understand what the big deal was. He felt that it wasn’t our business. I kicked him out of the house, or at least I tried to. Instead, he took the kids over to Ma and Da’s house and came back.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” he growled as I paced back and forth.
I stopped and turned to him. “It's not a big deal that he was cheating on his wife? Fucking some whores while she was struggling to take care of their kids!”
He just shook his head.
I walked closer to him as I realized something. “How long have you known?”
The widening of his eyes told me everything I needed to know, but I waited for his answer.
“I’ve known for a long while.”
I took a step back, curling my hands into fists. Don’t punch him. Don’t punch him, I chanted to myself.
“Gra, it wasn’t my business.”
I glared at him. “She is my family; she was there for me though everything! She helped me bring my dream to life. It’s a big fucking deal.”
He raised his hands up, taking a few steps back. “I didn’t see it that way. I’m sorry, leanbh.”
“Cheating in this family is unacceptable,” I whispered, turning away from him.
I stayed with Angela for a week while she told me not to let Ben ruin my relationship as well.
Now he only does things for Edward out of my sight.
With everything put away, I kiss him and then kiss Ciara. “Let’s get you to Nana and Papa.”
She nods her head vigorously, excited to see them.
We have a meeting in the office building where we run our reality business, but it’s also where we meet as a Family to give us updates on how things are going. The Cullen Family is the Family in the USA, Russia, Ireland, and Europe. No one is brave enough to cross us.
Edward is the brute force and I am tactical. He will kill you on the spot for looking at me wrong, whereas I will take my time, watching and waiting for the right moment to strike.
“Stefan, where is the lovely Caiti at?” I greet him with a hug.
“She is due in a weeks’ time, doctor said it wasn’t good to travel.” He lets me go and settles in his seat next to Caius.
“Is Demetri home with the kids?” I pat my cousin on the back as I walk around to my seat.
He chuckles, almost making the dark circles under his eyes lessen. “Yes, it was his turn to deal with Austin.”
Séamus and Seán are on the other side of the table, brooding over the fact that they report to me, an illegitimate relation in their eyes since my dad was cast out. After a series of negotiations and proof that I was worthy, I took over my father’s legacy within the Family. I was the first woman to ever do so. It hasn’t been an easy task because of the traditions deep within the blood of the family that believes a woman’s place is in the kitchen and popping out babies.
“Séamus, Seán, how are you today?” I ask politely as I take my seat which Edward pushes in for me before sitting by my side.
They sound fresh from Ireland with their thick accents. “We are fine. Wanting to be home.”
I nod my head and open the folder in front of me to look at the numbers they have brought.
“It looks like there is something wrong in Dublin.” I look up at my distant cousins.
Séamus shifts in his seat, not meeting my gaze, and Seán turns quickly to look at him with narrowed eyes.
“It won’t happen again, it was a misunderstanding,” Séamus replies.
Raising my brow, I say, “I know it won’t because we are taking a trip there next week.” The threat is clear in my voice. It wouldn’t be the first time I had to take out a family member to get my point across.
He visibly shudders.
“All right, everything else looks great.” I shut the folder and put it in the secret safe hidden in the floor.
“Caius, tell me about that dealership, the one that we know Hector is dealing from?” The cartel in our area has an agreement with us that they won’t deal on our territory, and we won’t deal on theirs. But one of their captains decided they didn’t like it, and has been stirring up shit.
“Nothing, the owner is never there, and the workers there barely speak English. It looks like they were hired by Hector as a front,” he answers in a growl.
Frustrations are running high trying to figure this out without having to create a war on the streets.
Balling his fists, Edward addresses Caius. “When you figure out the owner of that dump, Messer’s Vehicles, you tell me.”
Everyone nods their head. It’s clear that it’s an order meant for everyone in the room.
Changing subjects, I begin discussing clubs in Russia and a restaurant in Dublin when I hear yelling followed by the door bursting open. Yet again, it’s the twins with Emily running after them.
“Da, Emily is talking to a boy!” Masen screams, dodging everyone and heading straight for Edward.
Everyone is chuckling at the scene my children are creating. Edward takes the phone from Masen, raising his brow at our daughter who is red-faced and making fists at her sides.
Charlie and Masen are now behind their dad. Edward is playing with the phone and watching our daughter. “If I look at this phone, will I find texts to a boy?” His voice is eerily calm.
Emily shifts her weight from foot to foot. “Yes, Da.” Her head drops.
“How old is this… boy?” The word boy comes out his mouth as if it tastes bad.
Emily clears her throat. “Seventeen.”
Edward is out of his chair, roaring, “Seventeen! Emily, what are you thinking?”
Her cheeks are red and unshed tears are ready to fall as she addresses her father. “He is the nicest boy in our school. He actually talks to me, and doesn’t hit on me like a piece of meat.”
I stand up and address everyone else who is enjoying the family drama. “I think this concludes everything. See everyone across the pond next week.”
After some chuckling and smart-ass jokes the room clears, leaving the kids, Edward, and me.
“First off, boys, we were in the middle of a meeting. You know better than to interrupt.” I give them a stern look so they know something is about to be taken away. “Second, Emily, you know we said no boys older than sixteen.”
Edward is pacing back and forth behind me, swearing in Gaelic. He’s trying to get into her phone, but he’s becoming more and more frustrated that he can’t figure out the password.
“He’s the only boy, Ma, that’s just nice and doesn’t have an ulterior motive after hearing my last name.”
I sigh. “Well, I think we will invite him over after our trip next week so we can meet him and his parents and then go from there.”
Edward growls, handing her phone back. “You better not being sexting him.” With that, he storms out of the office.
Emily’s face is beet red at his comments.
“Erase it all, Emily. That boy won’t live the week if your dad finds out.”
We traveled to Dublin first, then to Moscow to see how everything was progressing with our different clubs and restaurants. Séamus did get whatever caused a dip in the numbers fixed. Just to give him a little reminder on who is in charge, Edward sat in his pub watching his every move.
Emily isn’t happy by the time we arrive back home and unpack because her phone use has been limited while we were gone.
We set up a dinner with the young man’s family and him, so we can discuss some things since our daughter is admitting that she wants to be with him.
I get home just in time to see my little ones leaving with Papa and Nana so we can have dinner with Emily and her boyfriend’s parents.
Walking into the foyer, I see my poor husband pacing back and forth with a cigarette in one hand and the other pulling at his hair.
My daughter is in a midnight blue dress hanging just to her knees, making her look like a lovely young woman. Her hair is partially up and curled, and she’s wearing just a dusting of makeup.
“Emily, you look very nice.” I smile, putting my stuff down at the door.
She smiles, then looks at her father still pacing and cursing in Gaelic. “Could you explain that to Da?”
I chuckle. “Your da is beyond reasoning when it comes to seeing his daughter look like a young woman.”
Edward stops and gives me a look that says not to push it.
I wrap my arms around Emily and lead her away from him.
The young man is nothing like I expected.
He’s tall with a runner’s build, dark-rimmed glasses that make his hazel eyes pop, and dark shaggy hair. Trey is a nerd, for all intents and purposes. I’m happy with him. He pulled out her chair after he gave her a gorgeous flower. He plans on going to UDub for computer engineering and programming. My daughter is very much out of his league, but I’m so happy that she’s picked him, age difference or not.
Trey’s parents are something else, and not in a good way. The best years of their lives were in high school as the all-star jock and the cheerleader. They obviously can’t believe their son landed our daughter. The fact that they keep saying our last name tells me all I need to know.
Mrs. Messersmith makes fun of her son every time he talks about his program ideas, or when he brings up his future plans. Her husband is all on the bandwagon of downing his son on his plans. It’s angering to watch as my daughter has stars in her eyes listening to Trey talk.
“Mr. Messersmith, what do you do, exactly?” I’m trying to be pleasant, even though I want to stab his eyes out with a dull knife the next time he checks me or Emily out.
The man is easily forty pounds overweight, balding, with what looks like dark hair. “I own a car lot downtown. Messer’s Vehicles,” he boasts proudly.
Edward’s hand freezes in mid-air. “Messer’s Vehicles, you own that?”
They guy smiles big. “I do.”
The change in atmosphere is palpable.
I clear my throat. “Emily, take Trey on a tour with Emmett, please.”
Emmett and the security team, including Jasper, appear from their designated spots, startling our guests. Emily quickly takes Trey’s hand and leads him away with Emmett without questioning or arguing. Trey’s brows are scrunched and he looks very close to asking what’s going on, but my daughter has him out of the room before he can.
Dathúil calmly pulls out his gun and sets it on the table. “All through this dinner I have been looking for an excuse to either punch you or shoot you.”
Mr. Messersmith’s eyes widen and his face pales. His wife makes a weird gurgling sound.
Edward stands up. “You have not only disrespected me by staring at my wife’s tits, but bluntly checking out my fifteen-year-old daughter. Now, this is what’s going to happen. You are going to sell your shop to me, and you won’t be peddling Hector’s shit anymore.”
Mr. Messersmith begins gaping like a fish out of water. I sigh. “Edward, tóg a siúl.”
Edward growls, but does what I ask and leaves the dining room for me to work my magic. Tapping my fingers on the table, just watching them glance at each other, confirms that she’s in on the selling as well as him.
“I’m sure you can appreciate the position we’re in. Hector, the cartel, they’ve all been warned to stop selling on our” —I tilt my head— “turf, I guess you would say. We don’t do business on theirs, so they should respect us.”
He nods, but something changes in his demeanor. “We don’t have to take this. Hector guaranteed our protection, plus we have a safety net.”
Leaning back in my chair, I raise one brow. “Oh, and what would that be?”
He smirks. “Your daughter sent very revealing pictures to our son, and we have them stored.”
Internally, I imagine cutting his dick off and shoving it in his mouth. Instead, I say in a deadly calm voice, “You do?”
Mr. Messersmith smirks again, leaning back in his chair and tossing his arm around his wife. He clearly thinks he’s hit the jackpot. “Oh yeah, and let me tell you, she has given me something to think about when banging the missus.”
My hand immediately flies to my gun, bringing it into my lap. My finger twitches on the trigger. “Fifteen-year-olds give you a hard on, huh?” I can’t keep the anger from seeping into my voice.
He snorts. “No, just your girl and the video she sent. Good God, that got me going for an hour.”
His wife has slightly more sense to her as she hits him in the chest.
“And what do you want for those and your shop?” I’m still trying to appear diplomatic so he doesn't realize he's a dead man as soon as I figure out how to get those pictures back.
Something in his eyes tells me that what he wants is nothing good as he leans forward, pushing his wife away. “I wonder if you’re as big of a whore as your daughter.”
Not being able to handle my anger any longer, I fire one shot between his eyes. His wife begins to scream. I move around the table in a flash, slapping her to shut her up. Our entire guard and Edward run into the room as I lean into Mrs. Messersmith.
In a lethally calm voice, I ask, “Where are the pictures and video?”
She sniffles, trying to wipe the blood off her face. “It’s- it’s on his phone, that’s it, I swear! Please don’t kill me.”
Not much into sympathy, I snap her neck.
“Leanbh.” Edward turns me to him, trying to read my face. “What happened?”
I take a deep breath. “He was trying to blackmail us with nude pictures our daughter sent to Trey.” There isn’t any point telling him the rest of the bile that was coming out that man’s mouth.
His face turns red, then purple and back to red, and all the while he’s cussing and throwing things. Jasper is on the phone with the cleaners, and Seth is coming up with a cover.
“What are we going to do with Trey?” Edward finally manages to form words other than fuck.
“We tell him he’s going to be staying with us in the guest house away from Emily. His parents are gone. We tell him the truth and hope for the best.” I shrug. I will not lie to someone that is now part of the family.
We walk to the guest house where Emmett has taken them. Emily is pacing back and forth, and Trey is sitting on the couch adjusting his glasses.
Emily sees us first. “Is everything okay?”
Trey stands up behind her, waiting for our answer.
“No. I’m sorry, Trey, but your parents are dead.” I cross my arms.
Trey sits on the couch. Emily’s brow furrows.
“I don’t understand.” She looks between me and Edward for answers, but it's Trey that answers her.
“They had your pictures, Emily. I tried to get them back. I tried.” He looks at us, pleading for understanding.
Edward steps in front of me. “He tried blacking mailing us. Your mom’s temper got the better of her.”
Emily hugs me tight and I hug her back. “I’m sorry, Ma, I wasn’t thinking when I sent them.”
Trey stands up with his hands in his pockets. “What happens to me?”
“You can live in the guest house. You’re a Cullen now,” Edward answers him.
Trey adjusted to our family very well, quickly learning weapons and self-defense, and never speaking about what happened to his parents. Whenever he did, it was only the cover story.
“My parents abandoned me at the Cullen’s house. They haven’t contacted me since.”
Edward had taken to the young man as well, teaching him the business and showing him about guns. Emily was still head over heels for him, and spent as much time as she could with him.
Trey was everything we could have wanted for our daughter. He respected her and us by not allowing her to sneak into his room, and he made sure we knew where they were are at all times. He kept with his plans to attend UDub for computer science and programing. He could have gone anywhere with access to our money, but he wanted to stay close.
Eventually, Trey sat us down and told us he wanted to date Emily and one day he wanted to ask her to marry him. I couldn’t be happier because I knew she would be in good hands with him. I told him she needed to graduate high school and start college before he could ask her. Trey quickly agreed.
He also told us he wanted to contribute to the family. Edward told him to worry about school first, and then they could talk about that.
I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it has finally happened.
I’m getting married to my soulmate. It felt like an eternity to get to today.
After he moved in with us, we were allowed to go on supervised dates. It was sweet because even with the guards accompanying us he acted like it was just us. He never failed to open the door for me and give me flowers.
It was hard when he left for college. I knew he would be home most weekends and holidays, but it still made me worry because I was younger than him and he’d be around older, more experienced women. Trey was gone for just two months before I couldn’t handle the doubts about being good enough for him.
I snuck out of the house and took an Uber to UDub and decided to spy on him. I used everything Ma had taught me to follow him around. There were too many girls that flirted with him, shoving their oversized tits in his face, but I lost it when a girl decided to sit on his lap while a group of him and his fellow classmates were hanging out.
I found myself over there with them, snatching her by her hair and dragging her off his lap. I could hear him yelling at me to calm down, but I was in her face basically threatening her life. I felt him wrap his arms around my waist as he dragged me away. He called Da to come pick me up. I was grounded for a long time. It wasn’t just me that was insecure, though. Come my senior year in high school, he wasn’t allowed to escort me to a dance because of his age so I decided to go with a group of friends. There were eight of us, four girls and four guys. We weren’t paired up or anything, but Justin was trying to hit on me and tried pursuing me.
Trey came out of nowhere and hit Justin in the nose before he all but carried me away from the dance.
We were better once I decided to go to college for a business degree and we were on campus together. Of course, I didn’t get to go to college without bodyguards, which again left no private time with Trey. I’m sure that was my dad’s plan the whole time.
But then just last year as I was going into my sophomore year, Trey took me out to the fanciest restaurant in town. Then he took me on a romantic walk on the docks at sunset and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
I cried and cried as I said yes.
Of course, my parents knew when I got back. I knew that Trey would never have asked me without asking them first.
I really wanted a small, family-oriented wedding, but because of who we are and the fact that most likely we will take over the Family, it ended up being a huge wedding-of-the-year affair.
Ma is not exactly happy, either, not liking the security nightmare of it all, but Da worked his magic. More often than not, I found Ma with Papa. I knew it was her way of coping when having to deal with events like this.
A knock on my door breaks me out of my reverie. “Come in.”
Ma pops her head in. Her hair is pulled up in a ponytail; there are very few wrinkles around her eyes as they sparkle with life.
“Hey, sweetie, ready for today?” She sits on the edge of my bed, and I spot her gun on her hip. I don’t think there has ever been a time that mom hasn’t carried a gun. Even in her wedding pictures the gun is on her during the ceremony. She has been trying to instill that same always-be-prepared mindset to me and my younger siblings.
I smile. “Yes, I am so ready.”
She tucks my hair behind my ear. “I love you so much.”
I take her hand and press it to my cheek. “I love you, too, Ma.”
Unshed tears are in her eyes as she looks at me. Ma has always told me that I have a special place in her heart because of how I came into her life.
“Let’s get you ready. The staff is here for hair and makeup, and the photographer is here to start taking pictures.” She clears her throat, standing up. “Everyone is starting to show up.”
I nod as I get out of bed, ready to begin the rest of my life with Trey.
After I finish putting on my dress everyone leaves the room and Da walks in. All my friends through school always fawned over my dad; how hot he is and the dangerous aura he has around him. He’s currently in his nicest black suit with a rose-colored tie. His eyes water as he takes me in.
“You look so beautiful, I don’t think that young man is going to know what to do with himself.” He takes my hand.
I blush. “Thank you, Da.”
He guides me to sit down on the couch with him. “My father had this talk with me on my wedding day. And as the next leader of the Family, I’m going to have it with you.”
Getting into the mindset for this talk, I straighten my back and wait for him to continue.
“You don’t have to take the leadership role. You can have a normal life away from all of this. I have a secret account for you to take it and go, wherever in the world you want.”
I can’t help but let out a humorless laugh. “What?”
He sighs. “Your great-great-great-grandfather decided that it wasn’t fair to just assume the oldest would take over the Family, that they should have the choice to either take it or to have a normal life outside of” —he waves his hands around— “all this.”
It’s a tempting offer, but I know deep down in my gut this is something I can’t walk away from. “I will be honored when the time comes to take over the Family with Trey.”
Dad kisses my forehead, but says nothing else. The photographer and Ma come in and we take some pictures together. Before I know it, it’s time.
Everyone is lined up, Da and Ma on either side of me. “I am so thankful that you’re a virgin on your wedding day.”
I laugh at his comment. I think it was the point; to get me laughing. “Jokes on you, old man.”
He doesn’t get to respond, but his face is priceless as they lead me down the aisle to Trey.
My mom always jokes that none of this would be possible if it not for Eala, and she’s right. We owe our blessings to an Irish bar and one man and one woman loving each other beyond reason.
The Endtóg a siúl- take a walk
Twins, Charlie and Masen